Friday, July 13, 2007

Myspace...Friend of Foe?

I was online doing my research...a-hum, excuse me, I mean surfing the web, when my Myspace alert popped up to notify me that I had a new friend request. I'm always really curious when I get a friend request, because, really, who would like to be my friend? I'm not looking for sympathy, and I don't mean to sound whiny, but I'm not a published author. Yet. Unless it is family, old friends, spam or bands, I am the one who does the "requesting." That's just the way it is. I x'd out my email and clicked on over to my Myspace page to see who it was. There was no photo, only a little yellow icon of Bart Simpson's little sister, Lisa. Interesting. I looked at the name. It read "Barbara Dawson Smith." I did a double take. I knew it was late, and my eyes were beginning to cross, but was it...? It couldn't be, could it? Not the multi published, NY Times best selling author, Barbara Dawson Smith? Requestiong to be added to my friends list? I was in shock. Almost as bad as when I got the email notifying me of my fourth place final in my first RWA sponsored contest. I just couldn't believe it. But, I realized, something wasn't right. Why would a multi-published, NY Times bestselling author have a Maggie Simpson icon instead of a picture of herself or a photo of one of her book covers like the rest of the published authors? Of course, I thought and smacked myself upside the head. I should have known. It was a fluke. My blood pressure topped it's maximum for nothing. I breathed a sigh of relief. And, I'm proud to say, I kept my cool and refrained from instantly hitting the "approve" friend request button. I decided it'd better check it out anyway. As is my usual routine with friend requests, I mossied on over to her site to take a look-see. I clicked on Lisa Simpson's head and waited for the page to load. Nice page. Nothing fancy. Tan background, nice choice of music...Huey Lewis and the News. I scrolled down as the page finished loading. Then, back up to read her profile. That's when it happened... The blood slowly drained from my face. Felt something like a hot flash. My eyes widened and my jaw dropped open. I couldn't move. Instead of the usual personal information listed on her profile there was: "Why are you here? You should be reading my books!" My muse instantly popped into my head. She hovered just in front of my eyes, horns and all, shaking a long, bony finger at me and scolding, "What are you doing here? You should be writing!" A pang of guilt hit me smack dab in the face. I stared, open mouthed and speechless. After the initial shock was over, I realised it really was the truth. I should have been writing instead of reading my email, playing solitaire and diddling around with my Myspace page. I was totally ashamed of myself. How dare I call myself a writer. Did I really think I was a writer just because I sat at my computer every day...? It was a rude awakening. I realized I had to make a choice. Either get my butt in gear and get serious, or keep on doing what I wasn't doing. Writing. Satisfied that it really was Barbara Dawson Smith, I hit the home button and promptly added her as one of my friends. Somehow that made me feel so...I don't know, important? A big name romance author actually requesting to be my friend! Maybe there was something to all this. Suddenly, I could see myself as a published author. I could see myself requesting to be added to someones Myspace page, and having that someone feel that same way about me someday. I got the point. No more playing. I was going to get my butt in gear and get serious. My breathing once again became slow and steady. I took a deep breath, clamped my mouth shut, and squared my shoulders. I was going to do it. No more messing around. But first, I had to take care of something. I popped over to my photobucket archive, picked out what I thought was a cute little writer's graphic and left Barbara Dawson Smith a "thank you for the request" comment on her page. After looking through her friends to see if there was anyone I could add from her list to mine, I back-tracked to my site, x'd out the Internet and opened the file to my wip. Thanks, Barbara, for the awakening. Click here to visit Barbara Dawson Smith's Myspace page

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